will.i.am Thinks Kelis Can Be As Big As Black Eyed Peas

News

By: kmurphy / March 5, 2010

Will.i.am says he has discovered music’s next international superstar. And her name is Kelis.

The Black Eyed Peas frontman and producer, currently on the road for his group’s E.N.D. tour, tells VIBE the veteran performer has a chance to become a transcendent figure beyond her days as the trend-setting it-girl who scored such hits late ‘90s and early ’00 hits as “Caught Out There,” “Milkshake,” and “Bossy.” These days, Kelis has been in the news for her bitter and very public divorce with hip hop icon Nas.

“Kelis has always been a best kept secret,” says will, who inked the singer/songwriter to his Interscope-distributed label, will.i.am Music Group last December. “The cool people know Kelis. But the majority of people just know ‘Milkshake.’ If Kelis were fashion she would be a girl’s favorite pair of shoes or a coat…high fashion. I would like Kelis to show she’s an international sensation. She can be big. A lot of people think big is being on the radio or that being big is having a show in London, France and sometimes Japan. But that ain’t international…that’s just three countries. The Black Eyed Peas are big; the Black Eyed Peas are international. I think Kelis can be that big. As big as the Peas.”

Will also points out that artists like Kelis usually don’t get their deserved shine because of out-of-control egos that control the hip hop industry. “A lot of time rappers have these labels and they don’t let their artist become bigger than them,” he says. “I’ve proven that’s not me. Fergie is huge. When Fergie blew up she was bigger than me! I believe Kelis can do the same.”

Hey, if will.i.am can pull this off, just give him Interscope.—Keith Murphy